Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ITU unveils online strategies to curb cyber crime

Global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) regulator, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at the weekend, unveiled new online strategies for combating cyber crimes.

The new strategies developed as an online tool, ITU said, is to keep track of crucial ICT security standards work through a single access point.

Champion Infotel investigations showed that ITU launched ICT Security Standards Roadmap as a follow up to the announcement by the global regulator of its Global Cyber Security Agenda (GCSA).

According to the ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré, the agenda is an ambitious two-year plan to curb cyber crime, between 2007 and 2009.

He also said that for the first time, ICT security vendors, service providers, developers, researchers and the public will now have security standards at their fingertips, with one common user interface.

The guide called the ICT Security Standards Roadmap brings together information about existing standards and work in progress by the world’s key standards developers.

“It is a collaborative effort between ITU, the European Network and Security Information Agency (ENISA) and the Network and Information Security Steering Group (NISSG),” he said.

Dr. Touré also noted that enhancing security in cyberspace is a matter of critical concern in an increasingly networked society.

He stressed that crimes on the Internet alone have led to losses estimated at several billion dollars, both from online theft and from costs related to fixing networks that have been the victim of cyber attack.

He pointed out that cyber crime takes several forms; from breaching network security, financial fraud, and invasion of privacy and identity theft to virus attacks or spam.

Equally speaking on the standards, Director, ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Mr. Malcolm Johnson, said that there has never been a greater incentive to revitalize the order and trust in the stability and reliability of communications systems, and standardization in security design for networks, adding, its a key prerequisite.

“Standards-development bodies have a unique ability to address security vulnerabilities in ICT by bringing together all players,” he said.

Mr. Johnson also said ITU has been supportive of publications and development of many important security recommendations, as well as behind many open discussions on providing security guidelines to protocol authors and identifying threats and vulnerabilities.

In addition, the guide provides information for potential users of security standards and other stakeholders to gain an understanding of what standards are available or under development as well as the key organizations that are working in these areas.

Mr. Johnson pointed out that this web-based tool also lists standards-development organizations and the security standards they publish.

“Acting as a central tracking facility, its not only enabling identification of standards and related activities, but also fosters coordination among standardization bodies, reducing duplication of effort and making it easier to identify existing gaps,” he said.

Equally, the guide, would afford development on an ongoing basis to enhance its scope and include other standard-development organizations, even as its organized in five sections.

These include ICT standards development organizations and their work, approved ICT security standards, security standards under development, future needs and proposed new security standards, and best practices, just as the standards are in a searchable database format with links to their sources.

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